There's nothing more annoying than dealing with the same beauty issue over and over again. And yet, here many of us are, battling things like frizz, makeup that doesn't match, and nail polish that just won't stay put — day in and day out. These beauty pet peeves can mess with you psychologically, entrenching you in what feels like an unending war with your cosmetics, skin, and hair.
Thankfully, there are easy fixes for these frustrating quandaries. Seeking beauty know-how and the mastery of some tricky techniques, we've tapped our beauty editors for some simple solutions to seven of the most annoying primping problems. Read on to learn how to banish these beauty banes, once and for all.
Illustrated by Isabelle Rancier
Because there's nothing like checking yourself out in the restroom mirror midday, only to find you're sporting the infamous greasy creases. As our faces get oilier throughout the day, it can cause our makeup to slip and slide all over our faces, most noticeably on our eyelids. To tackle this shadow scourge, first things first: Take a long, hard look at your moisturizer. If it leaves behind a greasy residue, or doesn't feel like it has completely absorbed, this could be exacerbating the problem.
Next, be sure you are using a longwear eyeshadow formula. Generally, creams tend to slip more than powders, so if you know your shadow likes to pull a disappearing act, you might want to stay away from the creams.
Of course, never underestimate the power of a good primer — those things are made to keep makeup where you want it. We're big fans of shadows that have built-in primers. Finally, much like lip liner helps keep lipstick in place, using an eyeliner to color in your lid will ensure your shadow stays put. Just use a pencil to fill in your eyelid (from your lash line to the crease), go over it with a brush to soften, then apply your eyeshadow.
Spending time meticulously painting your nails, only to have polish smudge immediately is enough to throw even the calmest lady into a rage blackout. Patience is a virtue when it comes to manicures — if you don't wait the proper amount of time between coats, the polish (despite its appearance otherwise) isn't truly dry. That means waiting at least five to ten minutes between each coat, including your base and topcoat.
And, if you're a bit heavy-handed with your painting, well, stop. Glopping on too much polish makes it hard for the coat to completely dry, so you wind up layering wet polish on top of wet polish, which means more smudges and chips. Also, be sure that your polish isn't old — it can be extra gooey and take super-long to dry once it's past its prime, so throw out anything that has separated or changed colors. We know, parting is such sweet sorrow, but it's for the best.
Sometimes we look at our hair and it just feels...sad. Like it's hanging there, thoroughly depressed with its lot in life, jealous of all the bouncy, windblown, shiny strands that are orbiting around it. A problem that usually befalls our finer-haired staffers, there are a few culprits to this coiff conundrum.
First, your haircut — while it might be good for your wallet to wait six months between salon visits, it's not great for your mane. As your hair grows out, it loses that carefully crafted shape and gets heavier and heavier, which in turn drags your locks down and causes them to lose all of that aforementioned vim and vigor. While it varies between hair types, styles, and lengths, it's usually recommended that you see your stylist every two months.
If you get cuts on the reg and you're still seeing sad strands, the problem may lie with your styling products. You may be using products that are way too heavy for your hair type, or you could be suffering from product build-up. Many synthetic stylers can gunk up on the hair strand and scalp, so even though you wash your hair religiously, it might not be removing this build-up. Be sure to add a clarifying shampoo to your hair care rotation, and talk to your stylist about finding the right products for your hair type.
Flakes, smudges, and that weird white line of dry skin — not so cute on your lips, right? You've got to keep that pout hydrated if you want to wear a bold lipcolor without looking cray. Stock up on a super-hydrating balm and be sure to apply it whenever your lips start to feel dry. Exfoliate off dead flakes using a dry toothbrush or an olive-oil-and-sugar scrub, and look for lippies that come in a moisturizing formula to help pull double-duty.
Clumpy, flaking, tarantula lashes do not belong on anyone's face, and yet, there they are. Once again, this problem could be caused by the age of the product — mascara has one of the shortest life spans (three months) of almost any other product. And, when it goes bad, all hell can break loose on your lashes.
If your mascara is new and you are still having issues, try this trick: Use a tissue to wipe of the excess mascara from the wand, then apply your mascara as normal. Most mascara brushes grab too much mascara as it is, making it easy to OD. The tissue trick will guarantee you have just enough on there to define and lengthen your lashes.
We can't tell you how many times we've had friends, family members, and random ladies in Sephora beseech us to answer the question of how to find a foundation that matches their skin tone. The answer: It's not easy. Your skin looks very different in natural light than it does in the fluorescent lighting of a drugstore or department store. So, what may have looked good inside will look off in the harsh light of day. Your best bet is to get professionally matched at a makeup counter. It's the only real way to make sure you have a shade that not only matches, but also corresponds with your unique undertones.
At the very least, you have to try it on your actual skin — we know exactly zero people who have correctly found their perfect match by holding a bottle up to their face. If you're going to try it on one part of your body, it has to be your actual face — the skin on your neck, your hand, or your wrist is not the same exact tone as that of your visage, so the only true way to know if you've got the right stuff is to put it where you are actually going to wear it. Sheerer formulas are going to be more forgiving than full-coverage, and if you are between shades, you can always try mixing two close shades to create the one that's just right for you.
Oh, frizz. Why do you exist, other than to make our lives a living hell? All right, perhaps we're being a bit melancholy, but chronic frizz is a giant pain in the...hair. So what's the solution? Sadly, there's not one fix that will cure all, as every hair type has different needs. Generally, though, the drier and more damaged your hair is, the more prone it is to absorbing excess moisture and causing that frizz. So, ease up on the heat styling, don't rough-dry your hair with a towel, and try to keep your scalp's natural oils balanced out by not over-washing your locks.
One little tweak that has helped a few of our editors: Make sure your hair is completely dry. Sometimes when we blow dry our hair, it feels as if it's all dry, but then as the hair shaft cools down, some of our strands may still be damp. No big deal, right? Well, wet hair absorbs that humidity in the air and causes your mane to frizz out. So, turn off the blow dryer when you think your hair is dry, but if your strands feel damp after five minutes, give them another shot of drying power. It's a little extra time and work, but you'll thank us later.